You know how this story goes – you look into your junk box and find a bunch of cables that connect to DVD players, TVs, VCRs, stereos and computers. Everything is all there but the big question is: what are all of these cables and why are they important? Let’s unwrap the mystery and take a closer look at some of these cables.
Composite Cables (RCA)
You don’t see Composite RCA cables around as much anymore because they have been replaced by HDMI cables (more on that in a moment). The RCA cable contains 3 connections that are yellow, white and red. Each serves a purpose:
- Yellow: video
- White: Left speaker audio
- Red: Right speaker audio
Back in the day, this cable was used to connect VCRs to TVs, as well as some early DVD players.
Component Video Cables
The component cable serves one purpose: video. Don’t be deceived by it’s similar appearance to a composite cable. You’ll often see this hookup on today’s DVD and BluRay players. It creates a higher quality picture similar to what you would see with an HDMI cable (again, more on that cable in a minute). When using this c
Finally – the HDMI cable! This “one-in-all” cable allows you to move high quality video & audio with just one connection. It is used in today’s DVD players, BluRay players, computer monitors and more. It provides a crisp, clear picture. Simply hook one end in your source (computer, DVD player, BluRay player) and the other end into the receiving display (TV, computer monitor, etc) and you’re good to go!
The 1/8″ connection is likely recognizable to use as its the same size as a headphone jack. You’ll find a lot of cords that are a variation of this cord. Typically, this cord will have a 1/8″ connection as the source (to get the audio) and the other side of the cord may be another 1/8″ connection, an RCA connection, etc. depending on the device you are going to play the audio into.
Coaxial (Coax) Cable
Finally, let’s take a look at the coaxial (coax) cable. You’re probably somewhat familiar with this cable. It moves cable TV and antenna programming into the back of your TV set. It used to be the connection between VCRs and TVs as well, enabling you to use the VCR’s “tuner” to record programs. Now, this cable often goes directly into the back of the TV or a DVR box. The coax cable also allows you to get an internet connection from your wall to the back of your cable modem.